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Showing posts from 2017

Verona...lost

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Aww!  And another one bites the dust...  Fan fave (and one of my own personal faves) Verona, from Estonia exited the Contest last night - hot on the heels of Finland's Blackbird earlier in the week.  That's two of my Top 5 gone!!!

Other than that, most of my other predictions went as planned.  I missed Croatia and Denmark from my list, meaning that I only got 8 out of ten again - but Big Jacques gave a fabulous performance of his Michael Jackson/Pavarotti self-duet, so I was really glad he made it through.  And besides, he does have the hottest backing group here!

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Perhaps the songs that got the biggest reaction in the hall was the folksy-sing-along from Belarus.  Three minutes of pure joy, and two of the jolliest people here in the Eurovision bubble.  This might be worth a wee each-way flutter, not as a winner, but for a placing.

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In the early hours of the morning the running order for the final was announced.  We open with Israel, close with France and the two …

Bye bye blackbird (...and more predictions)

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Aww...  I think everyone was seriously gutted that we lost the wonderful Blackbird from Finland on Tuesday night.  We chatted with Leena and Lasse afterwards and, as ever, they were just so lovely about it.  In Leena's words, "it's fine, nobody died, we will go on making our own special kind of music".  True professionals.  I hope it's not the last we hear from Norma John.

Finland aside, the qualifiers were much as predicted.  I got 8 right, missing out on Poland (which pretty much always go through due to diaspora) and Belgium (which, of course, is a brilliant song, but badly staged and performed).  Interestingly, it's Belgian Blanche who has taken the European iTunes charts by storm since Tuesday night.  She's currently topping a number of countries' charts and Top 20 in more than twenty!


Of course, the big news is that the beautifully understated and simply performed Amar Pelos Dois went through for Portugal.  Their flag was proudly flying all thr…

Boat trip! (oh and Semi 1 predictions)

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Yesterday we were down on the Dnipro river for a lovely little boat trip from around 100 years from my apartment (just at the top of that hill behind the big building) to the Eurovision arena.

Our fab host, a Ukrainian lady of about 70, told us EVERYTHING about EVERY single thing we sailed past - bless her...



We sailed past monuments, bridges, nudists...


As we went past this famous nudist beach on our left hand side the wee guide lady got all flustered and said "Oh my... now you must look on the right at these lovely trees...yes, looking n ow on the right... please everyone LOOK ON THE RIGHT!!!".  We were all howling...

It was another beautiful day, with not a cloud in the sky and a temp of around 25 degrees c.





As we approached the dock by the International Exhibition Centre, where the contest is being held, we could see the full extend of the apartment building which is going on on this side of the city...  It's undergoing massive expansion.


After we docked we decided …

Party Time!

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Hola, Mes Amores!  Did you miss me yesterday?

On Saturday night I was at the Nordic party, which was much more low key than usual.  I did manage to grab this fab snap of me and Frank with the Latvian singer, Agnes, who seemed to have come as a self-basting chicken...


Oh and the Swedish commentator was there...


Yes indeed - the gorgeous Mans is doing commentary for the Swedes this year.  So in three years he's gone from singer/winner, to presenter last year and now he's commentating.  We still LOVE him!!!

Yesterday we had a shorter day, with only the Big 5 plus Ukraine rehearsing, so after they were done I took the chance to grab an afternoon snooze before the Opening Party at Euroclub last night.


Bloody hell it was hot out there in the afternoon though... it was still 27 degrees at around 9pm!



These two pics are taken in the big square just outside my apartment.  Fabby, eh?

Anyway - after dinner we set off on the mile long hike through a forest on the banks of the River Dnipro…

The naked ape is rising

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We got our first glimpse of the Big 5 plus hosts Ukraine as they took to the stage for their first rehearsals yesterday.  I say we, but in actual fact I missed most of them as I was quaffing pints of gorgeous red wine at the fabulous Icelandic party - but more of that later.

But, of course, the biggest news is that Italy's Francesco Gabbani, hottest favourite to win the contest in about a hundred years, has now brought his naked ape onto the Kyiv stage...and it was brilliant!

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He was clearly having a great time as he ran through his performance (which remains identical to his San Remo one, apart from the fact that he now also has four backing singers just behind him). 
I honestly cannot see this being beaten next Saturday!  It's just perfect. Literally everyone you talk to here concurs that it's Italy's contest.
Our own Lucie Jones apparently gave an absolutely splendid first run through and hopes are high for a Top 20 placing.  She certainly comes over very well i…

"A white bird in a black dress..."

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Having seen all 36 semi finalists run through their first rehearsals in the first four days, yesterday saw us head into the frenetic second rehearsals phase, where things happen much faster, and we are finally allowed into the hall to see the stage in all its glory!

Sweden on stage
I'm really liking the simplicity of the stage, which is far less elaborate than in the past few years.  We have an audience capacity of around 7,000 which is also down on recent contests, but it doesn't feel too small inside.

Highlights from yesterday included the very properly spoken press conference moderator asking the Finns about the symbolism behind their song Blackbird, and then saying to Leena, "But you are a white bird in a black dress, yes?"  I know it wasn't meant in that way, but Hass and I sat there giggling away like two wee schoolboys!  A little later she asked then what a film of their life would look like and Lasse said it would have to be a dark horror film with him p…